Economy and Finance Minister Maria Antonieta Alva
on Wednesday affirmed that Peru is among Latin America's fastest-recovering economies as it faces the brunt of the coronavirus pandemic.
Alva commented that the sharp fall of 17 points of GDP
in the first half of 2020 was the result of the measures taken by the Government to face the pandemic, specifically the strict lockdown.
"Obviously, when the first infections were evaluated in the face of structural problems, such as the scarcity of health services —given that we had less than 300 ICU beds for 33 million Peruvians as of the first half of March— we decided to preserve precisely health, which is why a strict lockdown was ruled, thus resulting in a fall in the first half of the year," she said.
"This is something objective, supported by indicators that show the economic dynamics quite clearly," Alva expressed.
One of them, she said, is electricity production, which is rapidly reaching pre-COVID-19 levels after a 30% drop in April.
"Another concrete example is cement consumption. In April, the construction sector was practically paralyzed, as it fell 100% and now we see that —in less than three months— cement shipments have almost returned to pre-COVID-19 levels, that is, they are operating at almost 95% capacity," the minister explained.
Moreover, she highlighted the revival of metal mining production, as well as the highly encouraging economic growth indicators, which are on the optimistic side
Remarks were made during a Congress' plenary session also attended by Prime Minister Walter Martos, who addressed the Budget, Debt and Financial Balance Bills for 2021.